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April 6, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 6, 2010

I found Rikki's Refuge when I tried to find a "no kill" home for two dogs I loved after their owner cruelly sent them to the local animal shelter and branded them as vicious. My plea for help was greeted with absolute kindness and understanding from the management of the Refuge. Although already having so many animals to care for, they gave these adorable dogs a new life! It was a joy to visit the Refuge and see so many animals living happily together with people who care so much for them. During my first tour, a big sheep took a liking to me and followed me throughout the tour! It is truly a unique and wonderful haven for unwanted, injured and sick animals for their entire lives! I will never forget them and will always help financially as I am able to do.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

as the very best compared to many other fine organizations that I have helped through some 45 years in several parts of the US. It is simply amazing to see what they have accomplished. What an example to all of us.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire the current manager (Kerry) to help me. Although I have a great deal of management experience, I doubt that I could keeps things running so well on a shoestring budget. The management is so creative with respect to getting support for the Refuge.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the vast number and variety of animals living peacefully together in the beautiful setting. Seeing disabled animals able to enjoy a happy and safe life. And knowing that the animals at Rikki's Refuge have a home for life.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very friendly, energetic, knowledgeable and caring. They interacted very well with their colleagues, visitors and most importantly, the resident animals!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make changes that they know would improve the Refuge and have a financial nestegg to ensure the safe future of the organization. They could also do more to share their success and serve as a model for other organizations to be a "no kill" refuge.

Ways to make it better...

I had been able to provide more support for this worthwhile and heartwarming organization. Since I live some distance from the Refuge, my only means of support is financial. But I will never forget their kindness to a total stranger with two little dogs.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

maintaining the financial support, donations in the form of food and medicine and facilities to support their residents. It is especially difficult when the economy is poor. Some people can no longer keep their animals. And donations drop off.

One thing I'd also say is that...

in a world that is so often harsh and cruel to animals, it almost takes my breath away to know what a difference a few dedicated people can accomplish. I few so privileged to count myself among their supporters and know what they are doing for animals.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 3, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 3, 2010

Rikki's is an amazing all-species sanctuary, taking in every type of animal. The animals are assured of a safe life, with great care and lots of love while there. Rikki's also does a lot of educational things, letting children and other know that it's not a good idea to buy chicks and ducks for Easter,. Rikki's is also a tireless advocate for spaying and neutering, which they can speutering This is also part of their educational effort, explaining that dogs and cats need to be speutered, so that there will be no more homeless pets. I have been a fan of Rikki's ever since they took in my aged Shepherd-Husky ten years ago, and they also took in my behavior-challenged cat six years ago. There was no way I would have put these animals to sleep, and Rikki's provided a safe haven for them. Because of this, I have been fairly large donor every year. There need to be more places like Rikkki's, so that homeless and abandoned and injured and mistreated animals have a safe and loving place to live out the rest of their lives.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have a much bigger sanctuary, with more room and facilities for more homeless animals. And it would't have to operate on a string anymore, literally begging from month to month for contributions to keep operations going.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 2, 2010

Rikki's Refuge is one of the most outstanding places I have ever been to. I can not offer anything to make the place better except to try to be there more for them. The first time I went was for a tour of the facility and now I give them for others to discover Rikki's and the wonderful things they do. Going out there and working and knowing that you are a small part of the amazing help they give to animals is all the reward I can ask for. Every creature no matter how old, cripple, forgotten, dismissed, deserted are welcome here to live out the rest of their days with love around them. Maybe for some of them for the first time in their lives. Keep up the excellent work Rikki's.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The eyes of the creatures they help. In the difference they make for each animal and even in the people like myself who benifit from being able to help.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have no chance of doing the incredible job they are doing. I read and hear some of the efforts put into this organization and I am awed.

More feedback...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 2, 2010

Rikki's Refuge the sanctuary of Life Unlimited of Virginia Inc. is a God-send for animals of all types in need of a home. The wonderful staff and volunteers give all the creatures living at Rikki's a place to call home and provide the care and attention needed to make that home safe and secure; they work tirelessly to promote animal welfare through community/public education.

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make a TREMENDOUS difference for the community and all the creatures who need a Rikki's Refuge to give them a chance by being able to implement a number of programs.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 2, 2010

I have been involved with Rikki's Refuge for close to 10 years. It is a wonderful place that has helped me much more over the years than I can imagine that I have helped them. During difficult times in my life I have been able to get "out of myself" while helping out. The wonderful work done at the Refuge gave me a sense of hope and belonging when things were not going well in my life. They not only save animal lives but benefit and strenghten human lives. They have helped me in ways they will never know and I love and thank them for that. I encourage everyone who loves/respects animals to volunteer or donate to this worthy group.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

All the hard work moving from a huge cornfield to a functioning site.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to get Kerry more help and money

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing all the animals that have been helped.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Hard working and devoted to a really difficult job.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Build better facilities for the animals, hire a full time Vet and hire more workers.

Ways to make it better...

I had had more time and money to help.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

man power and money

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 2, 2010

Rikki's Refuge is a non-profit, no-kill animal sanctuary located on 367 acres in Orange, VA. There are over 1200 animals of 22 different species. Rikki's provides a permanent and loving home to the forsaken. The majority of the animals are elderely, handicapped, or require ongoing medical attention. Rikki's is run by a small staff of hardworking and dedicated individuals, a board of directors, and volunteers.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the happy, loving animals I have met there.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue the mission of providing a comfortable, loving and permanent home to as many animals as possible.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting and interacting with so many of God's beautiful creatures.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outstanding.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

save many more lives, expand upon housing and build a new animal hospital.

Ways to make it better...

my grandmother had not had a stroke preventing me from volunteering for a couple of months.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funds.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Animals have an enormous capacity of love and compassion, and we humans should follow this example.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 2, 2010

You will meet some of the hardest working and most dedicated humanitarians devoted to the care of forgotten ferals. The volunteers give considerable time maintaining the enclosures for the cats and providing care and feeding for the numerous animals at the Refuge. The work seems daunting and frankly overwhelming looking in from the outside, but everyone there seems to find the energy to perserve due to their obvious love of the animals and love of and belief in the work they are doing. Inspiring!

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

devoted to the caused of caring for feral cats and singleminded in focus towards that goal.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 2, 2010

Dear Sirs, Madam, My name is Debra Barrett. I have been a volunteer for Rikkis Refuge aka Life Unlimited of Va for the past 5-6 years. While I was a volunteer for another animal organization I was told about Rikkis and how wonderful they were. One day, I rode down and was amazed!I was given a personal tour but was hooked.I became a volunteer that day! Rikkis is on 367 acres in Orange,Va. We care for over 1200+ animals of 20 species, 400+ being cats. Have you ever seen an animal who is not only broken physcally but also emotionally and their spirit has been shattered? Rikkis restores all of that and more. Each and every animal is cared for and loved on a prsonal level. Some for the first time feel the gentle touch of a human hand gently patting them and speaking softly where in the past was only a slap and a yell.Sometimes it takes months to regain their trust...but that one moment when they wag their tail or purr is nothing that can ever be truly explained. EVery animal is loved and cared for until they are adopted or live out the rest of their lives in peace. N harsh voices, no hitting, no starving, no sleeping in the cold. And do you know HOW all of this is accomplished? By DONATIONS. Yes. By donations, fund raisers, Tours and open houses. The price of admission is a can of or bag of food.Kerry Hilliard i the founder and Executive Director. This is her dream.. and she has made it our dream as well. She has a small dedicated staff and a samall army of dedcated volunteers that ask for food donations,help raise money with fund raisers etc. NO ANIMAL will ever go hungry at Rikkis. NOT EVER AGAIN. Kerry also takes in animals from other "Shelters". Animals that have been deemed unadoptable and are on death row. Several of us are what we call the FERRY GODMOTHERS. We "Ferry" animals from other shelters to Rikkis. THree years ago another volunteer and I were going to split the transport up between an out of state shelter and Rikki's a totally blind cat had bbeen surrendered by i's owner bec the owner was pregnant and didn't want him any more. When I told my husband he said ask Kerry if we can adopt him. When I met the other volunteer and saw this terrified little boy in his carrier my heart melted. I called Kerry and she said CONGRATULATIONS MOMMA! Kelby has been one of our fur children for three years. It was touch and go for several months. He was so angry. He had been betrayed and was not one to trust for a long time. Kelby was deemed unadoptable because he has no eyes.. but to us..he is a priceless treasure. I thank GOD in heaven every day that Kerry Hilliard said YES to taking this fur child and then yes for ua to adopt Kelby.There are so many happy endings becasue of Kerry and Rikkis Refuge. There are also endings that do not end up in adoption but the end is filled with love, and dignity. Rikkis is a unique animal sanctuary, it is truly a little piece of heaven on earth and deserves a little bit of help. Respectfully Submitted, Debra Barrett Volunteer and Bard Member and adoptive pet parent.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping to educate people on the role of what Rikkis Refuge is in the community and how the community can learn WHAT an animal sanctuary is and how THEY can play an active role in making dreams come true.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

know where to start.. Kerry runs Rikki's with a firm and loving hand. She guides her staff and volunteers with one purpose... to make sure each and every animal is loved and well cared for.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

knowing I am helping to make a difference in the lives of 1200+ animals.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated and loving.During the blizzards several staff stayed at the Refuge to help Kerry. The driveway is very long and no one could get in or out. Two staff stayed for several days to make SURE that ALL the animals were fed and medicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build!It could expad ALL of it's habitats and shelters, Build a new hospital for the terminally ill animals.. build guest cottages.. build cottages for it's staff. have state of the art equipment for the hospital area.We could upgarde and expand!!!!

Ways to make it better...

I won the lottery. All the money would to Rikkis Refuge.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial resources in order to continually see to the welfare of the animals and expnd when necessary.

One thing I'd also say is that...

there is no other animal sanctuary like Rikkis and I wish there were more.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Make cat shelters, create better footing for the dogs, feed the goats, plant feed crops for the pigs, repair a donated vehicle.... Volunteer